Downtown Bus Stopover and Multiuse Facility
SANDAG, in partnership with the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), is developing a stopover facility that would provide an off-street location in Downtown San Diego where buses can be parked for short periods between runs. In conjunction with the stopover, the facility also could potentially provide other residential, office, and retail needs as part of a mixed-use development project.
In addition to ensuring reliable and efficient bus and Rapid service for thousands of San Diegans, the stopover facility will increase the availability of on-street parking by eliminating the need for buses to park in front of existing homes and businesses while awaiting the start of their next route.
As part of the planning process, SANDAG conducted an exhaustive search and identified five potential sites that could accommodate a stopover facility. A screening evaluation based on operational needs and minimizing impacts to surrounding neighborhoods identified a potential location in Downtown San Diego’s Civic Core as the most suitable for this facility. This part of downtown is currently zoned for government uses.
On June 24, the SANDAG Board of Directors unanimously approved the property as the preferred site for the proposed Downtown Bus Stopover and Multiuse Facility. The site is on a block bounded by A Street, Union Street, B Street, and State Street.
To ensure on-time transit service for downtown riders, the stopover needs to be located close to transit routes that terminate near the America Plaza Trolley Station and Santa Fe Train Depot. Because most transit vehicles at the stopover would park for 15 minutes or less, the close location ensures that buses operate on schedule. It also minimizes operational costs and the need for additional bus circulation on surface streets.
Bus and Rapid service to Downtown San Diego has increased, especially over the last year. A large number of buses begin and end their route in western downtown. Currently, the buses are parking curbside. Downtown needs a long-term solution that takes buses off city streets when they are temporarily out of service or between runs. The proposed Downtown Bus Stopover and Multiuse Facility would do that, thus improving the transit system which provides efficient service for thousands of San Diegans who rely on it as their primary mode of transportation. It would increase the availability of on-street parking downtown and allow for the removal of portable toilets from local sidewalks, greatly improving the atmosphere of downtown neighborhoods and providing respectable rest facilities for local bus drivers.
SANDAG is currently preparing a detailed financing plan, project budget amendment, construction procurement documents, and a strategy for developing a public-private partnership for the financing, construction, and management of the Downtown Bus Stopover and Multiuse Facility. SANDAG and MTS hope to have the project open for use by the end of 2020.
Approximately $16 million has been allocated to the project from TransNet, the voter approved half-cent sales tax for transportation projects administered by SANDAG. Additional funding for this project would be required. SANDAG is investigating additional public and private funding opportunities.
Richard Chavez, Principal Transportation Engineer
Phone: (619) 699-6989, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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